First x-c school and a new rider

We were planning a x-c school for the weekend.  I decided I didn’t want to go to the mass schooling at St. Augustine as I knew the horse I would be riding would be very happy to be out in the open and combine that with lots of other horses feeling the same way and you get interesting results. We decided to head off to New Castle County Carousel Park which is in wilmington, Delaware. Lovely park with a very reasonable schooling fee. They have lots of beautiful jumps ranging from Elem- Novice and it looks like they built some training level stuff that is sitting out there.

I asked if anybody wanted to tag along and my friend Betsy expressed some interest but she had no horse. Mmm.. I have plenty of those and she remember Dixie from the beach ride we did. I am always nervous lending out a horse just hoping the person likes them. Betsy is a good rider so I was less nervous and I can count on Dixie to behave so off we went.

I was riding Mick, a young horse who I have had in for training. My student was there with her young horse and Betsy on Dixie. When we started out my student and I had our hands full. Mick was quite happy to be out in the open fields again and was letting it be known but in a nice way. We did a nice big trot all around the property and then each of us cantered one at a time so that two of us were standing and waiting. One thing you learn with these ottb’s is to be smart. They were all up and us cantering in a group of three might have been a bit to much for Ryan and Mick anyway. Dixie could have cared less. It was interesting observing the horses as the left the group to go and do their canters. Ryan, a 6 yr tb, was not so worried about the group but was pretty scared of the people walking dogs. Mick, a 5yr tb, was very concerned about the group. He has lots of interesting maneuvers he was doing to return to the group and I was doing my best to keep his mind actively engaged. Dixie went off in such a relaxed state I was almost amazed. I know he has been hunting but we hunt in groups so I thought he might be a bit relucant to leave the group. Nope, he really didn’t even mind.

Here he is galloping along in his loose ring nathe bit. Besty’s had a permanent smile the whole time. Look at how tall and thin she is..nope I am not jealous at all 🙂

Our first jump was this weird color log which looks unassuming but the horses think logs should not be such a strange color. Dixie tends to do this weird stance when he is not sure of what he is doing.

He figured it out quickly. He is so interesting because you can almost see him thinking as he is going around. He tries so hard for you and even when he is not sure he always gives it a go. I love his attitude.

These white logs were really interesting. I am not sure what level they are used in but we all determined they were much harder than they looked. They were eating logs and there were two of them set on a diagonal line rode either going up a hill or down a hill. You jumped one, dipped down and then went up a hill or jumped down over one, across the dip and then back up. Dixie was so cute as Betsy jumped over the first log and was intending to go straight he had that second log already eyed up. She had to let him know she was going straight. Pretty cool to see him locking on the jumps. A huge step from last season!

I think the only thing he stopped at all day was the ditch which is rather scary. He made a bid and I could tell he didn’t know what was there so he got there and was like OMG a big hole in the ground. Betsy let him look and then came back and he jumped quietly over from a walk. What a good boy! Then she trotted him over.

I have some video to post tomorrow.

3 responses to “First x-c school and a new rider

  1. Kym & Guinness

    Hi! Can you share with me how you made arrangements to school XC at Carousel? I can only find references to the park/trails–nothing about the horse facility.
    Thank you! I enjoy your blog immensely!

  2. Every time I come here and read about Dixie I wish I was in a position to take him on. He sounds like he’s just an awesome horse. (Not perfect, but what more can you ask for from a horse but a good personality and a willingness to trust you and try?)

  3. jessicamorthole

    Kym- you can school there anytime. It’s $20 and you stop by the barn office with your coggins and sign a release. It is a lovely course ranging from Elem-novice with some training elements.

    Kris- No horse is perfect but give me a good mind anyday! I love how he thinks about things. You can see him looking at the down bank processing and then just stepping down.

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